Having your employees fill out an emergency contact form has become standard practice in most industries. While new hires may find disclosing additional personal information a bit strange at first, having a standardized form will benefit both employers and employees. To save yourself some time, you can use our template to get started or you create one yourself.
Why Give Your Employees an Emergency Contact Form?
There are three primary reasons you should have your employees fill out emergency contact forms: potential injury, illness, and an employee not showing up to work. Even if injuries or accidents are not common in your line of work, they still happen. You need to know who to contact to inform them of the situation.
Your employee could also have an illness (even one they are not aware of) that can make their health situation deteriorate at work. In both cases, you have an ethical obligation to inform their next of kin or another emergency contact. You may even have a legal obligation in some jurisdictions.
In the event that an employee has not come to work, you should also know whom to contact. They may be in a dangerous situation and the proper authorities should be informed. Although it may not be anything serious, it’s still beneficial to know why an employee has not come to work.
What Fields to Include in the Form?
The emergency contact form should be concise and to the point. Have your employees list their name and department/position, as well as primary and secondary emergency contacts. You can also ask for a 3rd contact. They should give the appropriate contact information – home address, telephone(s), and email address. Also, have a section where your employees can add any information they find relevant.
What Information to Collect?
You should make it clear to your employees that an emergency contact form is not a legal document but rather a practical one. You need to have access to their contact person in case of an emergency. So, it’s important that they give accurate and up-to-date contact information that works. For instance, they shouldn’t give the legal residence of their contact if they don’t live there. Instead, they should give you the address where the contact can actually be found.
The same applies to phone numbers and emails. Stress that you don’t need work phone numbers or emails if the contact won’t answer them. Ask for personal contact information that you can use to reach them in case of emergency. Also, remind your employees to update their emergency contact forms if any of the information changes.
Who Should Be the Designated Emergency Contact?
An employee emergency contact is usually a person close to the employee. It could be parents, siblings, spouses, partners, etc. However, an employee emergency contact does not have to be next of kin or any type of relative. Your employee should select someone who can be reached easily and can deal with high-stress situations. Listing a friend on an emergency contact form is just as valid as listing a spouse.
Creating an Emergency Contact Form
The emergency contact form is a document you will only need in case of an emergency. It does not need to be elaborate, only accurate. Unless you believe there is essential information that needs to be included, using a standard template is sufficient.